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Screen2x and DOM Distiller

Noted by on his .

I just tried Chromium’s “Screen2x” article distiller (experimental in chrome://flags).

Before, the DOM Distiller removed elements far too aggressively. The new Screen2x implementation has gone in the opposite direction: it barely removes any of the page’s non-navigation structure. It does, however, remove all the images. figure elements that aren’t images (e.g. block-quotes with citations in figcaption children, or code snippets with descriptions in their captions) lose their captions. Inline code and samp elements lose their semantics and styling, becoming plain inline text (code blocks in pre blocks remain preserved).

In other words, it’s replaced one set of false-positives with another, and now removes too little of the page structure. An improvement, but not enough to compete with alternatives.

Reading Mode now opens in a sidebar on desktop, instead of replacing the page. Users are expected to use the Reading Mode and the regular page side-by-side now, so it won’t replace ads. I smell infighting between ads and browser teams.